33 Quick Wins for Performance and Quality


Our readers share their tips on maintaining high performance and quality in the contact centre.

1. Start over from scratch to tackle what really isn’t working

I’ve found that the best approach is to start again. Look at what your customers are saying, what is working, what isn’t and why you are seeing ‘dissatisfied’ customers.

Collate all this as valuable customer insight and act on it.

Listen to your customers and listen to your people. Don’t just tick a box!

With thanks to Tracey

2. Your agents should take responsibility for their own dissatisfied customers

We encourage our agents to take responsibility for their own dissatisfied customers.

When a customer is dissatisfied, the agent will be informed via a pop-up screen. The agent is then given time to find out what has gone wrong and the opportunity to call the customer.

This way of working stimulates awareness of the individual impact agents have on customer satisfaction.

With thanks to Miranda

3. Separate quality from 1:1 sessions

Separate quality reviews from your monthly 1:1 sessions.

It should be an item on its own – and include input from the agent as to how well they think they’re doing.

With thanks to Emma

4. Talk to your customers about what quality means to them

We presented our processes for quality monitoring to groups of customers.

We explained why we take it seriously and ran through some simple exercises to understand what they wanted from a call.

For example, we asked them what made it special to them and how they wanted us to treat them during a call.

It was enlightening and helped us to tailor our services to our customers’ needs.

With thanks to Ian

5. Offer your team leaders a bonus based on their agents’ quality scores

We give our team leaders an additional incentive bonus based on 100% Quality Assurance being achieved by all of the agents in their team.

With thanks to Julie

6. Set up a prize draw so agents can directly benefit from their quality scores

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We use our agents’ quality evaluation scores as “tickets” for entering a quarterly prize draw.

For every week a member of staff averages the highest possible grade (in our case a ‘1’) they earn a ticket.

At the end of the quarter, we draw a winner and they are rewarded with £250.

We’ve found that this has simultaneously improved quality and increased drive.

With thanks to Mark

7. All call-scoring sessions should be accompanied by follow-up activity

The outcome of any call-scoring session either results in a coaching session with the quality coach, or counselling with a manager.

It is a part of the performance process.

With thanks to Cindy

8. Stop focusing on achieving average performance

A good first step is to change your focus from average performance to top quality performance.

If you only expect average performance, that’s all you’ll ever get.

But if you expect high performance, even those who just miss their targets should still exceed average performance.

With thanks to Del

9. Create a team dedicated to coaching and feedback

We’ve seen success with creating a dedicated resource for quality and performance.

For example, we have full-time qualified coaches who are responsible for coaching and providing feedback to our agents.

This takes the responsibility away from the team leader and makes the process more objective.

With thanks to Wendy

10. Target Quality Managers and Team Managers on agent interactions

Both our Quality Managers and Team Managers have KPIs which relate to our agents’ quality scores.

We find that this encourages the Quality Managers to work closely with the Team Managers to identify the agents that need more support.

With thanks to Tracey

11. Run calibration sessions to encourage supervisors to work together

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We are running calibration sessions with our call centre supervisors, so that they work as one team.

In addition to this, we provide training for our Quality staff in facilitation skills, so that they can run a calibration session that is a real benefit to the call centre staff – and not just a turning-up exercise.

With thanks to Karen

12. Tie quality metrics to other KPIs such as Average Handling Time

We tie our quality metrics to other agenda KPIs.

For example, Average Handling Time (AHT), efficiency, After Call Work (ACW) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

With thanks to one of Call Centre Helper’s readers

13. Put more emphasis on the customer experience

Put more focus on the customer experience and reducing customer effort, rather than religiously following your processes.

With thanks to Tracey and Emma

14. Tie performance-based metrics into your staff bonus structure

We’ve seen success with tying performance-related metrics into our staff bonus structure.

With thanks to Matt

15. Maintaining quality shouldn’t just be a tick-box exercise

Try to steer clear of performance and quality just being a tick-box exercise.

Look to change bite-sized chunks where you can and keep the communication channels open, especially in regard to celebrating success stories.

With thanks to Tracey

16. Customers should define quality

Customers should define quality.

Keep this in mind when setting your agent targets.

With thanks to Cindy

17. Focus your quality assessments around improving

Our quality assessments for outbound agents are based around the improvement of specific objectives.

This means that we are less hung up on the scoring and more focused on improvement and revenue generation.

With thanks to Tracey

18. Align your quality programme with your customer satisfaction surveys

We have aligned our quality programme to reflect what we ask our customers in satisfaction surveys.

With thanks to Matt

19. Find out how your staff define great customer service

We carried out a survey of our staff members to ask them what their expectations are in regard to receiving and providing excellent customer service.

The results of this survey are currently being used to build an effective quality monitoring process. This is expected to boost agent engagement, as well as improve quality across the company.

With thanks to Del

20. Give agents access to their own call recordings

We give our agents access to their own call recordings, along with the ability to make follow-up notes and bookmarks.

This way they get to hear themselves (and learn from their previous calls) without the embarrassment of having it play out for their manager.

With thanks to Holli

21. Promote good communication between quality staff and supervisors

The key to performance and quality success is to promote good communication between quality staff and supervisors.

The relationships between these two groups of people are key to any system that you have in place.

With thanks to Karen

22. Link quality monitoring to customer satisfaction

We have linked our quality monitoring form to the customer satisfaction survey, so our employees know what to do to make the customer happy.

During review meetings, we mention the individual impact on the customer satisfaction survey as we move through each section of the quality monitoring form.

With thanks to Miranda

23. Allow your agents to challenge their evaluations

We operate a “challenge system”, so that there is always an opportunity to review an evaluation.

With thanks to Del

24. Reward your top agents with medals

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Once a year, we reward our top-performing agents with medals.

With thanks to Jennifer

25. Work to short-term objectives

We set specific short-term objectives for the Quality Manager and Team Manager.

They then coach and run role-play exercises with the agents to meet these objectives over a fixed period of time.

With thanks to Tracey

26. Implement a 4-week improvement plan if any agent persistently fails

Our Quality Assurance programme is a measurement of success.

Unfortunately, if an agent persistently fails and no improvement is made from coaching, we would then document a 4-week plan to improve.

If this is not achieved, it would trigger a disciplinary action.

With thanks to Matt

27. Allow your agents to pick the calls they wish to discuss

We encourage our agents to pick the calls they would like to review with their team leader.

This gives them the opportunity to either verify that it was a good call, or to discuss how they could have handled any problem areas better.

With thanks to Cindy

28. Reward your agents with ‘Customer Experience’ awards

We’ve introduced the ‘Customer Experience’ award.

Every time one of our customers takes the time to tell us about their amazing customer experience, we reward the agent responsible with a ‘Customer Experience’ award and then publicise their achievement.

We use this information to reinforce why quality is so important – and the direct impact it has on our customers.

With thanks to Tracey

29. Link the Quality Assurance process directly to the company values

I have found that linking the Quality Assurance process directly to company values has encouraged agents to explain how and why they did what they did.

This justification of their actions reinforces correct behaviours.

With thanks to Alun

30. Have a “reward cupboard” to treat top performers

We have a “reward cupboard” for agents who achieve 100% on their quality scores.

We also recognise “most improved” and “most consistent” over a 3-month period.

With thanks to Jennifer

31. Post your best calls online to demonstrate desirable attributes

We post calls on to our Quality Website that demonstrate the specific attributes that we want our agents to practise.

These calls are available 24/7 for our agents to listen to for ideas on self-improvement.

With thanks to Dianne

32. Give out WOW certificates to agents who give amazing service

We provide ‘WOW cards’ to our agents who can provide details of calls where they have provided amazing service.

If the team leader listens and agrees, the agent receives a WOW certificate.

With thanks to Sarah

33. Get your agents to score their calls first

When scoring calls, why not ask the agents to score themselves first?

Then go through the actual quality score and discuss where there are differences of opinion.

If the agent raises a valid point, the score could then be reviewed.

With thanks to Matt

What do you do to boost performance and quality in your contact centre?

Published On: 29th Oct 2014 - Last modified: 13th Oct 2017
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